5 fuel saving tips every driver should know
You have no control over the price at the pump. But what you can control is how you drive and maintain your vehicle to increase fuel efficiency. Here are some tips to implement and start saving today.
1. Use cruise control
On long stretches of highway driving, cruise control can save fuel by helping your car maintain a steady speed. However, this efficiency is lost on steep hills where the cruise control tries to maintain even speeds. In hilly terrain, it is best to turn off cruise control.
2. Use of the right gear
The higher gear you drive in, the lower your engine speed is, which can improve fuel efficiency. So, change up a gear whenever you can, without labouring the engine. Change gear in good time - when you pull away or when you’re accelerating. Never ‘redline’ the rev counter.
3. Keep tyres inflated properly
You can improve fuel mileage by 0.6% on average - up to 3% - by keeping tyres inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tyres can lower fuel mileage by about 0.2% for every 1 psi drop in the average pressure of all tires. For proper tyre pressure for your vehicle, check your driver's side door jamb or the owner's manual.
4. Look ahead
Think ahead when you’re driving. For example, slow down early to let traffic lights change, rather than stopping completely, or speed up a little before you reach the foot of a hill. Leave a sensible distance between yourself and the car ahead to give you ample time to brake evenly.
5. Windows or AC? That is the question
Using windows or AC to cool your vehicle in the summer has been an ongoing argument. But the answer has finally come out: there is a time and place for each. Running your car's AC is the main contributor to reduced fuel economy in hot weather. Its effect depends on several factors, such as the outside temperature, humidity and intensity of the sun. Under very hot conditions, AC use can reduce a vehicle's fuel economy by more than 25%, particularly on short trips. So, limit its use to highway speeds. However, driving with your windows down can also reduce fuel economy. Open windows increase aerodynamic drag (wind resistance), making your vehicle use more energy to push through the air. So, only roll the windows down at lower speeds.